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The Brandon Boggs Situation

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Richard Durrett has a spring training injury update up, and this note caught my eye:

OF Brandon Boggs, who had offseason surgery on his left shoulder (Bankhart Procedure) and hasn't tested it sliding headfirst or diving in the outfield. But his throwing is fine and he's very close to being 100 percent.

Boggs has been the forgotten man on this team, and I can't exactly figure out why.  We talk about the 25th man candidates, and you hear about Matt Brown and Craig Gentry and Endy Chavez and Esteban German and Joaquin Arias and maybe Rocco Baldelli or Jermaine Dye or some other random unsigned veteran free agent...

But what this team needs is someone who can play solid defense in centerfield and hit lefties.  And Boggs is the guy who seems to fit the bill the best.

People forget...Boggs appeared in 101 games for the Rangers in 2008.  He had a .226/.333/.399 line overall, good for a 92 OPS+ and a .324 wOBA.  But against lefties, he went .227/.327/.500, good for a .351 wOBA.  And that's consistent with his minor league performance...he has a career minor league OPS of 944 against LHPs, versus 761 against RHPs.

Defense?  Jon Daniels said at Newberg Night last year that the organization feels he can handle center field.  He's considered a plus defender in the corners.  And if you want someone who can also play first base, I can't imagine that Boggs wouldn't be able to handle that after some reps in spring training, given his athleticism and ability.

2009 was a lost year for Boggs, a season where he struggled with a shoulder problem that resulted in him having surgery, as Durrett noted.  But if Boggs is 100% now, he should be the guy first in line for the last bench job.

He can back up Julio Borbon in center and spell Borbon against lefties.  He's a guy who draws walks and has some power and some speed.  And there's this that Evan Grant had to say about Boggs, in July of 2008:

The only real option for him to get that look with the Rangers would be to send Brandon Boggs back down and have Cruz face lefties the rest of the season. And though Boggs is hitting .251, the guy does bring a certain energy to the clubhouse and to the lineup.

It is remarkable that we've gone from Boggs being a guy who brings too much to the team to be sent down to make room for Nelson Cruz (now the team's starting right fielder and one of the team's best hitters) to Boggs seemingly being behind Joaquin Arias and Matt Brown in the competition for a bench job, and potentially losing his 40 man roster spot.

Hopefully, I'm wrong, and Boggs will get serious consideration this spring...because if Boggs is healthy, I don't think there's anyone in the organization who would be a better choice for the 25th man job.